What to know
- The US report was issued on Saturday and did not specify what triggered the warning.
- “In the People's Republic of China (PRC), due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws for purposes other than the maintenance of law and order, caution is required. This arbitrary enforcement can include detention and the application of travel bans, ”the US recommendation said.
The United States has urged its citizens to "exercise greater caution" in China because of "an increased risk of arbitrary detention" – a claim that the state-sponsored Chinese media, the Global Times, calls "an apparent distortion of the truth."
The US report was issued on Saturday and did not specify what triggered the warning.
However, this happened amid deteriorating US-China relations on a number of issues, including Beijing's handling of the Hong Kong coronavirus pandemic and alleged human rights violations by Chinese officials in Xinjiang and Tibet.
"In the People's Republic of China (PRC), increased caution is required due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws for purposes other than maintaining law and order. This arbitrary enforcement may include detention and the application of travel bans," the report said.
"US citizens can be detained without access to US consulate services or information about their alleged crime," she added.
The report also said that US citizens could be "subjected to prolonged interrogation and detention for" state security reasons "and warned that they could be arrested and / or deported" because they send private electronic messages that are critical of the country Government of the PRC are ".
The Chinese-backed Global Times publication, citing a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, accused the US of heightening fears of China and an "apparent distortion" of the Chinese authorities' enforcement of the country's laws. Global Times is a tabloid of People & # 39; s Daily, the official Chinese Communist Party newspaper.
According to the report, foreigners are arrested only for "solid evidence of illegal activity" and not "only for some critical comments".
Relations between the United States and China have been the worst for decades. However, the United States is not only warning its citizens of the potential risk that laws in China will be applied arbitrarily.
Last week, Australia advised its citizens not to travel to Hong Kong and to rethink their need to stay in the city due to uncertainties surrounding the new national security law. Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China.
This story first appeared on CNBC.com. More from CNBC: